Image by #A #U

Translated by Núria Adell.

As developers and users we love WordPress for many reasons: its ease of use and scalability, its continuous growth of plugins and themes, its orientation towards positioning, its flexibility… having a simple and professional website is really easy. But it’s also true that not everything is plain sailing, as you can read in the more than 300 comments on problems that people have shared in the Spanish version of the post “The Solution to the 5 Most Common Problems in WordPress“.

Today I’d like to share another type of problems. In particular, seven settings that WordPress has by default that may not be the ones you’d want, and how you can change them:

  1. Screen options
  2. The category Uncategorized
  3. Textual and visual editors
  4. The list of posts
  5. Images in the media library
  6. The lack of an option to duplicate pages or posts
  7. The number of revisions

#1 Screen options

On the WordPress dashboard you can customize the items you want to be displayed on your screen. Therefore, when you’re editing a page or a post, you can customize the different boxes that you want to be displayed

Perfect, so what’s problem?

Many of us have spent a while trying to figure out why we couldn’t see or find some particular setting. Where’s the author? And the extract? How do I configure comments?

How to fix it?

By knowing where you have the Screen Options: on the top right corner of the screen. Now you have the battle won.

Screen Options of the editor of posts
Screen Options of the editor of posts.

If you open the pull-down menu, you’ll see that you can select the screen options you want to display, along with the screen layout, and whether you want the full-height editor to be enabled.

Screen options selection
Select the boxes you want to display in the posts editor.

Keep in mind that this button is also “used” by many plugins that have added additional boxes in your edit screen.

Screen options with plugins
With Yoast and Nelio Content plugins, you have new display options.

So, for example, if you have the Yoast plugin installed, make sure you have the Yoast SEO option checked to display the box with the Yoast features. And you should do the same with Nelio Content, check the option Social Media to see the box in which you can automatically program all your social messages.

#2 The category Uncategorized

By default, any post you publish on your blog belongs to the category Uncategorized, unless you’ve indicated otherwise. Clearly you don’t want to have any posts in this category. And it’s easy that one day you get distracted and forget to indicate the category of a post.

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How to avoid this?

One option is to create a generic category (e.g. marketing, news, etc.) and make that category the default option.

Writing settings
In Settings » Writing Settings you can select the default category of the posts.

Also, if you want you can delete the category Uncategorized so that it doesn’t appear anymore. But for this you have to first create at least one other category and make this new category the default option. Only then you can delete the Uncategorized category.

#3 Visual and HTML editors 

When you edit pages or posts in WordPress you can decide whether you want to use the Visual editor or the HTML editor.

Visual and HTML editors
When editing a post you may choose to use the Visual editor or the HTML one.

With the HTML editor you won’t have any problems but, if you feel more comfortable using the Visual editor, it’s quite limited.

How can I improve the Visual editor?

One of the easiest ways is to install a plugin like TinyMCE Advanced that allows you to add new options to the visual editor. You’ll see that after installing it you can select in the plugin settings the buttons you want to add to your editor toolbar.

TinyMCE Settings
In the Editor Settings of the TinyMCE plugin you can select buttons (from the list of unused buttons) and drag them to the toolbar to extend the visual editor.

So, for example, in the previous image you can see that we’ve added the button that allows you to add emojis ? and the one that allows you to enter text in code format <>.

Buttons added to the visual editor
Buttons added to the visual editor.

If you want more information on this topic, you can take a look at the 5 Plugins To improve the WordPress WYSIWYG Editor. And for more complex content, don’t miss the 5 Best Drag and Drop WordPress Page Builders Compared.

#4 The list of posts

The list of posts in WordPress is the same as that of pages. It allows you to view the list of posts that you’ve published or that are waiting to be published sorted by title or by date, and even apply date or category filters. This list is quite useful to view the pages, but when you have an active blog where you’re regularly publishing posts, it’s not really helpful to plan the posts to write.

List of posts
List of published posts.

To plan posts, it’s much more practical to have a calendar where you can view the posts on their specific publication date. There are many people and companies that plan posts on Google’s calendar or other tools, but don’t you think it would make much more sense to have it all integrated in WordPress? At the end of the day that’s where you write, right?

How do I add a calendar to my WordPress?

As before, one of the alternatives is to install a plugin that includes an editorial calendar. You have several alternatives, but my recommendation is Nelio Content  (did you have any doubt that I’d recommend another one? ?)

Screenshot of Nelio Content calendar
Screenshot of Nelio Content‘s calendar showing only the published and scheduled posts of a month.

At all times you can see both the published and pending posts in the calendar. Apart from this, you can also view the scheduled social messages. In sum, for a better organization of the posts, it includes an editorial calendar in your WordPress.

#5 Images in the media library

Similarly to the previous problem, browsing the images images in the media library can be very frustrating. Images are displayed in thumbnails and sorted by uploading date. When you have a lot of images and you don’t remember their specific names, it’s easy to get quite lost.

Can I organize the media library better?

One of the advantages of WordPress is that you can always find a plugin for everything. And in this case you have plugins like Media Library Assistant, Enhanced Media Library, Media Library Categories or Media Tags among others, that can help you get a better organization. How? They all add one or more meta fields to the images (category, sub-category, or tags) so that you can create various media taxonomies and have filters in the media library itself.

Enhanced Media Library
Image of the Media Library display with the Enhanced Media Library plugin.

#6 Lacking option to duplicate pages or posts

On more than one occasion, especially when creating pages, it would be useful to duplicate another page as a starting point for your page structure.

List of pages in the web of Nelio A/B Testing
List of pages in the site of Nelio A/B Testing that have a similar structure.

The only way to do this is by selecting all the content of the page or post that we want to copy from the editor, type ctrl-c to copy, create a new page or post and then type ctrl-v to paste the content.

How can I simplify this?

The easiest way is to install the Duplicate Post plugin, which gives you the option to clone pages and posts with a single click.

Clone option a page or post
Clone a page or post with the Duplicate Post plugin.

#7 The number of revisions

Maybe you’ve never used it before but WordPress has a system of revisions that, every time you save or update a post, it saves a copy of it.

Revisions in WordPress
At any time you can see the number of revisions of any post you’ve saved in your WordPress.

So if one day you need to compare two different versions or recover an older version, you can do this without any problem.

Compare revisions in WordPress
WordPress allows you to explore and compare content between different revisions of any post.

The comparison of revisions is a feature that can be very useful. The problem is following: to what extent do you need your WordPress to store such a large number of revisions? In fact, if there’s too much information it could slow down your website.

How do I limit the number of versions saved?

You can limit the number of revisions that WordPress saves. Although this may seem a bit technical, it’s very easy. In wp-config.php you can define the maximum number of revisions by adding the following line:

define( 'WP_POST_REVISIONS', 3 );

By default, the value of WP_POST_REVISIONS is true, but you can also type -1 if you want to save all existing revisions. If you indicate false or 0 then you won’t keep any revisions (except the autosave of the post). If you write a number greater than zero you’ll be saving that number of revisions (+1 autosave) per post. Any older revision will be automatically deleted.

Is there anything else that irritates you?

So far we’ve reached the magic number of seven somewhat annoying aspects of WordPress. But surely you have some more in your mind that you’ve encountered. Maybe you’ve even found a solution for them. In any case, we’d love you to share them in the comments.

Featured image by A# U# on Unsplash.

5 responses to “7 Annoying Things about WordPress And How To Fix Them”

  1. Mona Andrei Avatar

    Great info – thanks for sharing! As a person who works with words, the technology side of things can be a thorn in my side 🙂

    1. Ruth Raventós Avatar

      Thanks Mona for reading our blog. I’m glad it was useful!

      Ruth

  2. Kiki Avatar
    Kiki

    My longest standing (since 2009) with WordPress is if you write a post in html and it gets edited in visual mode there will be changes. Sometimes big and bad changes, like the code for embeds getting eaten, or all your careful spacing getting hosed. It’s absolutely the most frustrating part of writing in wordpress. At me old company we just turned off visual editing mode to prevent issues. In my current company the editor prefers visual so every post I submit comes out with unintended changes.

    1. Ruth Raventós Avatar

      Hi Kiki, yes that’s another frustating issue. We’ll see if this is improved with the Gutenber editor…
      Thanks for reading us!
      Ruth

  3. Centennial Avatar
    Centennial

    Thank you! ??

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